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Cubs, Sox questions start in dugout
By Barry Rozner | Daily Herald Columnist
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Published: 9/16/2010 12:00 AM

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Now that the White Sox' season has essentially come to an end, Sox fans have something more in common with Cubs fans than merely watching the playoffs on TV.

Both have to wonder about their managers for next season, and the answer may be as simple as looking in the dugout right now.

On the South Side, Jerry Reinsdorf isn't likely to fire Ozzie Guillen and pay him for two years while he runs off to manage the Florida Marlins.

Guillen could quit, but even if he walks away from guaranteed money, Reinsdorf won't allow him to work for another club without the Sox getting genuine compensation.

Despite Guillen's self-inflicted wounds in 2010, Reinsdorf doesn't want to give up on Guillen or any of his people, his legendary loyalty always taking precedence over difficulties in the organization.

So unless Guillen throws a monster fit, much worse than anything he's already done this year, or somehow convinces the chairman that the Sox would be better off without him, Guillen's probably coming back.

As for the North Side, Mike Quade's done just about all he could do given the circumstances.

And if the Ricketts aren't sure what they intend to do with GM Jim Hendry long term, it makes sense to go with a short-term contract for the next manager.

Unlike some of the candidates, Quade would be in no position to ask for more if the Cubs offer him only a year - or two.

Wins and losses aside, and those are meaningless this time of year, Quade is managing nicely both in the dugout and clubhouse. He's communicating with his players, which is a refreshing change from the last two years of Lou Piniella.

Stats aside - and they're also meaningless when the games don't matter - he has the attention of his young players. He's teaching, coaching, motivating and adding discipline.

He hasn't gone after the Cubs' lazy veterans yet and seems willing to let them coast their way to the end.

But Quade doesn't seem the type to let it go the way Piniella did, so we assume he's waiting until he has the authority to force players to give a decent effort in the field and on the bases.

In other words, trying now when he doesn't have a contract for next season might be foolish because certain players will make him look bad both with their play and their words.

If he does keep the job, here's hoping he treats the veterans the same way he's treating the kids, and forces them to show up in all aspects of the game.

So the off-season has, for all intents and purposes, begun on both sides of town, and the first question to be answered resides in the manager's chair.

It would not be terribly shocking if what you see right now in both dugouts, is what you get next year.

Stocking stuffer

There will be at least three GM openings around baseball and maybe more, so is this the fall that Sox assistant GM Rick Hahn is plucked from the organization? It's going to happen someday and it will be a substantial loss when it occurs.

Catching on

Jay Cutler makes no secret of his love for Matt Forte, saying, "He's a great player. He's so smart and has such a great feel for football with his instincts."

Get the feeling he wouldn't say that about most of his receivers?

Just wondering

One guy Cutler obviously likes is Devin Aromashodu, who was the QB's top target in Week 1.

But watching the smaller receivers get hammered so much Sunday, wouldn't the Bears be better served occasionally lining up Aromashodu in the slot?

The robbery

Lions coach Jim Schwartz, to a Detroit radio station Wednesday: "It doesn't take a rocket scientist to look at that and say it was a catch ... I think if 100 people look at it, 100 people say, 'Yeah, Calvin (Johnson) caught that ball.' "

Baseball symmetry

Managing at the Cubs' Double-A affiliate in Tennessee this season is 59-year-old Bill Dancy, taking over for Ryne Sandberg, who moved up to Triple-A Iowa.

When Sandberg was a 19-year-old shortstop for Spartanburg (A) in the Phillies organization, his manager was none other than Dancy, who was in attendance one summer morn in 1979 when Sandberg took his wedding vows before a justice of the peace.

As Sandberg once said, they had the ceremony at 11 a.m., lunch at noon, and were dressed to play by 2:30 p.m.

The line

Odds on winning the 2011 Stanley Cup: Pittsburgh (6-1), Washington (7-1), Blackhawks (8-1), Detroit (10-1), Vancouver (12-1), San Jose (14-1) and Philadelphia (15-1).

QB rating

NBC's Jay Leno: "NASA said an asteroid came very close to striking Earth, but just missed us. They think the asteroid was thrown by Bears quarterback Jay Cutler."

Best headline "Drew Olson now just six steps away from getting the 2005 Heisman Trophy."

And finally ...

Miami Herald's Greg Cote: "Jack Nicklaus' grandson, a tight end for Dwyer High in Palm Beach, was suspended two games for making an obscene gesture. It was one game for the gesture, and one game for not signing his scorecard."